Location: Harkins Hall 412
Student Educational Records/Release of Information
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended, also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal regulation governing the privacy of personally identifiable information in student educational records and granting certain rights to students with respect to those records. Education records are any records maintained by the College or an agent of the College that are directly related to the student. A student has the following rights: to inspect and review his or her educational records; to request an amendment to a record that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA; to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent; and to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. In accordance with FERPA, the College provides annual notice to students regarding these rights.
The College’s policy is to release educational information directly, and only, to students. There are a number of exceptions to this non-disclosure policy, including one for health or safety emergencies. The law permits the College to disclose otherwise private and confidential information from an education record to appropriate parties in an emergency situation if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. Appropriate parties may include parents, law enforcement authorities, emergency responders, and other members of the community.
The College is also permitted, with or without a student’s consent, to inform parents when their student has violated any law or College policy regarding the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the student is not yet 21 years of age.
The College discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using College employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the College.
A student has the right to block the release of directory information. Directory information is student data not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed; the College, at its discretion, may release directory information. Currently, directory information is limited to name, address, telephone listing, e-mail address, date and place of birth, major field of student, class year, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, height/weight of members of athletic teams, enrollment status, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and previous education institutions attended. A student may, to the extent permitted by FERPA, block the release of directory information for an academic year by filing timely, written notice with the Office of Enrollment Services.
Pursuant to Providence College’s FERPA policy, confidential information from a student’s records may be released to the parent(s)/guardians of the student, or any other designated individual, only with the written consent of the student. Unauthorized disclosure of student information is a violation of federal and state law. If the student wishes to authorize disclosure of information to parents/guardians or any other designated individual, a RELEASE OF INFORMATION AUTHORIZATION form must be filed with the Office of Enrollment Services/Academic Records, Harkins Hall 207, as soon as possible. It is strongly recommended that the form be returned within two weeks of matriculation. Once the appropriate written authorization by the student is received in this office, designated individuals may be informed of the student’s status at Providence College including but not limited to grades, academic standing, and financial obligations. If at any time after submission of the form the student wishes to revoke consent or modify the list of individuals authorized to receive confidential information, a new authorization form must be completed and returned to the Office of Enrollment Services/Academic Records. Once the consent to release is completed and signed by the student, and submitted to the College, it remains in effect for as long as the student is enrolled at the College.
Students may obtain more detailed information about FERPA, including the procedures for exercising their rights, in the Office of Enrollment Services/Academic Records, Harkins Hall 207.
Report of Grades
Grades are issued twice each semester. Mid-semester grades are advisory in nature. Grades awarded at the end of the semester become part of the student’s official record.
Grades, once submitted to the Office of Enrollment Services/Academic Records, will not be changed without the written approval of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Students are entitled to access their mid-semester and final grades provided all administrative, disciplinary, and/or financial obligations to the College have been fulfilled. Official final grade mailers are sent to student mailing addresses by request only. Students have the option of requesting a grade mailer for a given semester or every semester. A “Final Grade Mailer Request” form must be completed in the Office of Enrollment Services/Academic Records. Official transcripts may be obtained directly from the Office of Enrollment Services/Academic Records or requested online via the CyberFriar online system.
Upon receipt of each semester’s Course Registration Booklet publication, students should immediately contact their faculty advisors to arrange a meeting to discuss their academic programs and course schedule options. Through the College’s Web-based registration system (“CyberFriar”), students must enter a Registration Alternate Personal Identification Number (alternate PIN) in order to register for courses or make any adjustments to their schedule for a given term. Students must obtain this alternate PIN from their faculty advisor. After meeting with their advisors, students should refer to the Course Registration Booklet or the Office of Enrollment Services’ Web site (www.providence.edu/Academics/enrollment+services/) for registration procedures.
Online Adjustment Period
Beginning with the registration period for a new semester and until each course has been able to meet for at least 3 contact hours, students are able to add/drop courses without penalty and manage their own schedules via the CyberFriar online registration. Online registration activity will not be possible when course registration overrides are required (e.g., overenrollment, prerequisites, courses with instructor permission). Students should consult with their faculty advisors prior to creating and adjusting their course schedules.
Once each course has met for at least three contact hours, all online add/drop functionality for students will cease. In all cases, permission at varying levels will be required to add/drop courses.
Administrative Adjustment Period
During the second week of classes, students who wish to change their course schedules must complete a “Course Registration Adjustments” form. Forms are available in the Office of Enrollment Services/Academic Scheduling and Registration and in the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Written authorization from both the instructor and department chair/program director are required to officially register for the course. Completed forms must be returned to the Office of Enrollment Services/Academic Scheduling and Registration.
Beginning the third week of the semester, any changes to student schedules must be done in consultation with the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Changes will not be processed in the system until the student understands all of the potential ramifications of dropping a course; these may include a “WD” grade or no refund. Adding a course after it has met for 3 contact hours requires written authorization from the instructor and department chairperson/program director of the course. Once a course has met for 6 contact hours, all schedule changes will additionally require approval from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Students are subject to a $100 late registration fee for each course. Such fee will be added to the tuition bill unless sufficient reason for late registration is provided.
All eligible students desiring to take a course on a pass/fail basis must notify the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies no later than the final date for withdrawing from a course, as noted in the College’s official Academic Calendar. Once a student elects the pass/fail grading option for a free or non-departmental elective, the pass/fail option is final and cannot be retroactively changed back to a standard letter grade. (see Academic Calendar ).
There will be no retroactive change of a standard to a pass/fail course.
- Only one course per semester (with a maximum of four courses in total) may be taken on a pass/fail basis (option for freshmen begins with the second semester).
- A student’s cumulative grade point average for the previous semester must be at least 2.0.
- Any course taken on a pass/fail basis must be selected from free or non-departmental electives.
- Credits earned on a pass/fail basis will not be averaged in a student’s grade point average.
- Credits failed in a pass/fail course will be averaged as an “F” with quality grade points 0.00.
Courses excluded from pass/fail designation:
- All courses designated as fulfilling Core Curriculum requirements.
- All courses taken within a major or minor, either required or elective, that constitute the total credit hours required by the department (unless the course is only offered on a pass/fail basis).
A major or minor course taken as a free elective beyond the required credit hours for the program may be designated as pass/fail.
Students who attend class without the obligation of fulfilling class requirements and without credit are called auditors. Written approval of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and permission of the instructor must be obtained by any students who wish to enroll as auditors. The status of auditor must be determined within the first two weeks of the semester in which the course is taken. Normally, there is no charge for auditing a class.
With the written recommendation of their academic advisors and with the approval of the dean of undergraduate studies, students may elect to take a maximum of one (1) course per semester beyond the normal load. Students will not be charged for the extra course.
Three criteria must be met for students to be eligible for this enrichment option:
- The enrichment option is ordinarily limited to juniors and seniors. Second-semester freshmen and sophomores will be considered at the discretion of the dean of undergraduate studies.
- Enrichment courses may not be used toward fulfillment of any degree (Core, major, minor, free elective, course) requirements.
- Students must not be short credits at the time the request for the enrichment option is made.
Registration for an enrichment course is ordinarily processed during the schedule adjustment period through the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
Extra Course Fees
Appropriate course fees will be charged for any additional courses taken beyond the normal course load. Exceptions to the extra course fee are as follows:
- A course to satisfy the English Proficiency requirement;
- Military science courses for non-contracted underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores);
- Military science courses for all contracted students;
- Approved enrichment courses.
Appropriate course fees will be based on current credit hour charges (cf. special fees in Financial Information section).
Juniors and seniors may, with sufficient academic justification and the expressed written consent of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, elect to take a maximum of one course per semester at another accredited institution of higher education. This option may be exercised only under the following conditions:
- The total credit hours accumulated per semester normally shall not exceed fifteen (15).
- The course must be justified academically as a reasonable extension of the student’s academic program. Students must obtain written permission from their academic department chair or program director and then must seek final approval from the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies prior to enrollment.
- The course may not be one offered by Providence College in any of its several divisions (undergraduate, graduate, or School of Continuing Education).
- The full tuition must be paid to Providence College, and any cost incurred beyond the current cost per credit charge of Providence College must be borne by the student. No refund will be granted should the cost per credit be less than that charged by Providence College.
- Students must be in good academic standing and, in the judgment of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, suitably prepared to benefit academically from this experience.
- Students are not permitted to enroll in non-credit courses for cross-enrollment.
- Courses completed through cross-enrollment registration are subject to the College’s transfer credit policies (see Admission ).
Repeating a Course
A student may repeat any course taken at Providence College. Various courses are defined as repeatable for credit such as performance-based courses or special topic courses where the content changes each semester. In all other cases, consultation with the class dean is required prior to registration to repeat a course with an earned grade from a previous semester. In these cases, only the most recent grade will be used to calculate the overall GPA. Students considering repeating a course should be aware that the most recent grade will be recorded whether or not it is higher than the earlier attempt. A repeated course is noted on the transcript with an “I” (included in GPA) or an “E” (excluded from GPA) to designate the relationship of the course to the student’s academic record.
Students may withdraw from courses beginning in the third week of the semester until one week before the last day of classes with the approval of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies in consultation with the respective instructor. The dean will not allow a student to withdraw to circumvent a stated course policy which imposes a course grade of ‘F’ for academic dishonesty or other serious violations of course conduct. Appeals for withdrawals after this deadline will be adjudicated by the Committee on Academic Status.
Approved course withdrawals will appear on the student’s official record with a grade of “WD.” Course withdrawal forms to be completed by the student and the appropriate faculty member may be obtained through the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
Students who choose to withdraw from courses may find it necessary to enroll in summer school or additional courses to make up academic credits. Students should consult with the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies prior to enrolling in such course work. The option of course withdrawal is not available for Dean’s and Presidential scholars (merit-based scholarships) because of scholarship requirements.
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